Healthy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (That Taste Like the Real Deal)

These Healthy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are truly one of my favorite fall recipes I’ve every made! They have everything you love about the original version but they’re lightened up and have the most delicious pumpkin twist!

Healthy pumpkin cinnamon rolls topped with cream cheese icing in a baking dish

PUMPKIN cinnamon rolls, oh my!!! Is there really anything better than a big, doughy, sweet roll on a crisp fall morning? I think not!

These Healthy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are a TEASER from my brand new Fall Collection mini cookbook! The collection is full of brand new exclusive recipes with a focus on a fall seasonal ingredients and season favorites! The collection will be available for purchase this Friday (or you can become a part of Fit Cookie club and get it for free!!)

The base of these cinnamon rolls combines some of our favorite fall flavors: pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. They’re sweet with a little spice and just the right amount of pumpkin flavor to really take them to the next level! And don’t let process intimidate you! These truly are easier than you think and definitely WORTH IT! 😉

These Healthy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are even better than regular cinnamon rolls because they’re lightened up so that you can still enjoy all your other breakfast favorites. I love pairing these with a simple egg scramble and piece of turkey bacon or sausage for the perfect sweet and savory combo + macro-balanced meal!

Trust me, these healthy homemade cinnamon rolls will be your new go-to recipe on fall weekends and would make the perfect breakfast or brunch Thanksgiving morning!

Healthy pumpkin cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing served on a small plate

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS HEALTHY PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLLS RECIPE

  • The ULTIMATE fall breakfast!! Perfect for Sunday brunch, Thanksgiving morning or dessert any night of the week!
  • Lightened up and lower calories than traditional cinnamon rolls but still filled with tons of creamy, sweet, cinnamon flavor!
  • Just 205 calories per HUGE cinnamon roll!
  • Doughy, light, sweet, these fluffy pumpkin cinnamon roll are truly next level!
  • An EASY classic cinnamon roll recipe with the perfect amount of pumpkin twist! Perfect for any morning- during the fall time or not!
  • Detailed instructions make it easy to follow along! You’ll be surprised at how easy they are!
  • One of my favorite pumpkin recipes to date!!!
Healthy pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a baking dish with no icing after being baked

INGREDIENTS

  • Milk – I used unsweetened almond milk but use any milk of choice!
  • Light butter – I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.
  • Canned pumpkin – not pumpkin pie mix, canned pumpkin is unsweetened, real pumpkin. I used Libby’s because it has the best orange color and texture.
  • Fast Rising Yeast –  if you are using active dry yeast instead of fast-rising yeast, you may need to let dough sit longer as it may take longer for it to rise.
  • Egg
  • Sweetener – I used Swerve Granular and Brown Sugar Sweetener. You could use monk fruit, coconut sugar, whatever sweetener you fancy here!
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Cinnamon
  • Flour – All-purpose or bread flour works best here! I recommend Bob Red Mill’s 1:1 or King Arthur’s measure for measure if using gluten-free flour. I have not tested this recipe with gluten-free flour, almond flour, oat flour, or whole grain flour, so i’m not sure if they’ll work. You can definitely try! Just note that it won’t have the same ‘bakery taste’ as it does when you use normal all purpose flour. A better option to regular whole wheat flour would be white whole wheat flour or whole wheat bread flour. I would not recommend using coconut flour for this recipe.
  • Cream cheese – I used reduced fat cheese cheese. Feel free to use regular cream cheese, fat-free, Neufchatel (Greek cream cheese), or vegan cream cheese.
  • Confectioner’s sugar – I used Swerve. Any confectioner’s sugar works.
  • Sugar-free pancake syrup – Can sub for pure maple syrup.
  • Vanilla extract
Healthy pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a baking dish, a few with icing and the rest with no icing

HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLLS

  1. In a large bowl, microwave the milk and butter for 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until temperature has reached 110 degrees F (use a thermometer for this). It should feel like bath water. Temperature is important here. If the milk is too cool or too hot, the yeast won’t rise. 
  2. Whisk in the pumpkin, yeast, egg, sweetener and pumpkin pie spice until combined. 
  3. Then fold in the flour one cup at a time with a spatula or wooden spoon (or transfer liquid mixture to your stand mixer and mix using your dough hook).
  4. Continue mixing for another 1-2 minutes until flour is well incorporated.
  5. Knead dough for 3 minutes on a lightly floured surface (or keep kneading in your stand mixer for another 3 minutes). Let the dough rest for 10 minutes while you gather your Cinnamon Swirl ingredients. 
  6. Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. After the dough rests 10 minutes, briefly knead the dough again then roll out into a 14×8 inch large rectangle using a rolling pin. 
  7. Spread the butter on top all across the pumpkin dough. Then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. I know it seems like a lot, but a lot is absorbed in the dough when baked. 
  8. Cut into 12 even pieces, then starting with one end, roll to form the pumpkin roll. Arrange in a 9×13-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray with room for the rolls to expand. It’s okay if some of the cinnamon butter is coming out of the pieces. Just stuff it back in or sprinkle the remaining on the cinnamon rolls after they’re all in the dish. You can also roll the whole thing up in a log and use the floss method to slice into individual rolls (see below).
  9. Cover the rolls tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 60-90 minutes in a warm place. I just went ahead and cut my oven on (350F) and let the rolls sit on top of the warm oven. 
  10. After the rolls have doubled in size, bake for 20-25 minutes (I took mine out right at 20 min) or until golden brown. If you notice the tops are getting too brown too quickly, loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and continue baking.
  11. Beat the icing ingredients together until smooth. Spread on the warm pumpkin rolls. Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Close up view of healthy pumpkin cinnamon rolls topped with creamy icing after being baked

THE FLOSS CUTTING TRICK

Have you guys heard of this? It can be easy to smash your cinnamon rolls with a knife, so using floss helps keep them nice and circular! Or you can just cut into slices first and then roll up individually like is already in the recipe card.

For the floss cutting trick: Slide a long piece of dental floss under the log of dough. Wrap it around the top. Then, pull tightly in opposite directions to pull the floss through the roll. Repeat going down the log, slicing about 2″ each time until you’ve cut the whole log into rolls.

Healthy pumpkin cinnamon rolls topped with cream cheese icing in a baking dish after being baked

IMPORTANT NOTES

These took a a little bit more time (and effort) than most of my recipes, but still easy to follow along! There are just a couple of parts of this recipe I want to highlight and emphasize the importance of.

  • Appropriate liquid temperature – An important key to this recipe is making sure the milk and butter are the right temperature to optimally allow the yeast to let dough rise. If the liquid is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If it is not warm enough, the yeast will not be activated to rise. The goal is between 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you don’t have a thermometer, just aim for warm milk (not scalding) that feels like bath water temperature.
  • Kneading the dough: You want to make sure you knead the dough for at least 3 minutes before flattening it out.
  • Let the dough rest: I know you’re eager to get to rolling, but don’t skip letting the dough rest for 10 minutes. This rest time allows the gluten in the rolls to relax, making the dough infinitely easier to knead and shape.
  • For my avid macro-trackers: For the everyday macro tracker, I wouldn’t read too much into this, but if you are tracking strictly and you want these rolls to have the most accurate macros, weigh dough after it has initially been rolled (step 4) and then weigh dough again after kneading (step 5). This way you can account for exactly how much flower you used in the rolling/kneading process.
Healthy pumpkin cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing served on a small plate with a fork with a bite taken out of it

HOW TO STORE

Keep stored in an airtight container. Rolls will last 2 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

HOW TO REHEAT

You can reheat these cinnamon rolls in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. Cover with tin foil to avoid drying out. You can also reheat them in the air fryer at 350F for 5-8 minutes (cover with tin foil as well).

If you’re reheating in the microwave, I recommend placing a damp paper towel over your cinnamon roll and microwaving for 20-30 seconds or until warmed though. Be sure not to overheat for too long or it will harden the cinnamon roll!

Another tip is if you know you won’t be eating all 12 at one time, you can leave the frosting off the ones you know you will be reheating to avoid a mess when reheating!

CAN THESE HEALTHY PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLLS BE MADE IN ADVANCE?

Yes! You can go ahead and prep these rolls the night before to make it super easy the next morning! You can do this by either just prepping the dough (pausing at step 5) OR going ahead and making the rolls so that they are ready to be put in the oven!

WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?

If you try these Healthy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls and love them, please rate this recipe!

You can also tag me on Instagram or Tik Tok, @LaurenFitFoodie. It makes my day seeing your yummy recreations!

Yield: 12 servings

Healthy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Healthy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

These Healthy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are truly one of my favorite fall recipes I've every made! They have everything you love about the original version but they're lightened up and have the most delicious pumpkin twist!

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients

Pumpkin Dough:

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (80g) – or other milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup light butter (56g)
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (180g)
  • 1 packet fast rising yeast (7g)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup granular sweetener (48g) – I used Swerve
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3.5 cups all purpose or bread flour (420g) + extra for rolling

For the Cinnamon Swirl:

  • 1/4 cup light butter (56g)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or granular sweetener (92g) – I used Swerve and 1/4 cup of each
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

For the Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 4-oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (72g) – I used Swerve
  • 2 Tbsp sugar-free pancake syrup (30g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, microwave the milk and butter for 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until temperature has reached 110 degrees F (use a thermometer for this). It should feel like bath water. Temperature is important here. If the milk is too cool or too hot, the yeast won’t rise. 
  2. Whisk in the pumpkin, yeast, egg, sweetener and pumpkin pie spice until combined. 
  3. Then fold in the flour one cup at a time with a spatula or wooden spoon (or transfer liquid mixture to your stand mixer and mix using your dough hook).
  4. Continue mixing for another 1-2 minutes until flour is well incorporated.
  5. Knead dough for 3 minutes on a lightly floured surface (or keep kneading in your stand mixer for another 3 minutes). Let the dough rest for 10 minutes while you gather your Cinnamon Swirl ingredients. 
  6. Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. After the dough rests 10 minutes, briefly knead the dough again then roll out into a 14x8 inch large rectangle using a rolling pin. 
  7. Spread the butter on top all across the pumpkin dough. Then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. I know it seems like a lot, but a lot is absorbed in the dough when baked. 
  8. Cut into 12 even pieces, then starting with one end, roll to form the pumpkin roll. Arrange in a 9x13-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray with room for the rolls to expand. It’s okay if some of the cinnamon butter is coming out of the pieces. Just stuff it back in or sprinkle the remaining on the cinnamon rolls after they’re all in the dish. You can also roll the whole thing up in a log and use the floss method to slice into individual rolls (see below).
  9. Cover the rolls tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 60-90 minutes in a warm place. I just went ahead and cut my oven on (350F) and let the rolls sit on top of the warm oven. 
  10. After the rolls have doubled in size, bake for 20-25 minutes (I took mine out right at 20 min) or until golden brown. If you notice the tops are getting too brown too quickly, loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and continue baking.
  11. Beat the icing ingredients together until smooth. Spread on the warm pumpkin rolls. Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

MFP Entry: LFF Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

The floss cutting trick:

Slide a long piece of dental floss under the log of dough. Wrap it around the top. Then, pull tightly in opposite directions to pull the floss through the roll. Repeat going down the log, slicing about 2" each time until you've cut the whole log into rolls.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 roll (99g)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 5.9gSaturated Fat: 1.3gCarbohydrates: 30.5gFiber: 1.7gSugar: 0.9gProtein: 7.5g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @LaurenFitFoodie! 

4 Comments

    • I haven’t tried with gluten-free flour yet so I am not totally sure. I do think it would work, each GF flour is just so different I think it would really just depend on what kind you use. If you (or anyone else reading this) does try with gluten-free flour, we would love to know your feedback and what kind of GF flour you used!

    • Yes you can prep them in advance! I would stop at step 8 and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and keep stored in the fridge. Then the next day remove from refrigerator (keeping them covered) and let the cinnamon rolls rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until puffy. Then bake like usual!

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